MOORE, Okla. - One of the first canine search and rescue teams in the aftermath of May 20th's EF-5 tornado in Moore is being rewarded for his efforts by a national breed association.
Bond, the soft-coated wheaten terrier, will be traveling to Pennsylvania for the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Club of America’s 2013 National Specialty. He will be accepting the "Wheaten Ambassador of the Year Award."
Bond's handler, JaNell Mayberry, says he was picked by the breed association because of his work in some of Moore's hardest hit areas.
She’s read the letter of thanks from Moore Police many times over.
Police Captain Larry Love says, "I looked down at bond and observed a tired, wet and muddy animal."
As May 20th’s monster twister approached, JaNell Mayberry called 911. Not to ask for help but to ask if Bond could help. They arrived right as the tornado had passed and hit the ground running.
Captain Love says, "Bond had not had any rest or water and appeared to be very tired. Bond went to work immediately."
The recently retired search and rescue dog found victims in the rubble, deceased and alive, in some of Moore's hardest hit areas like Plaza Towers.
Mayberry says Bond had spent his entire career training for that moment. He proved that he still had what it took even after retirement.
"A little white fluffy dog can do the work," says Mayberry. "He's just an extraordinary dog."
To say they work well together is an understatement.
"People that have worked with us we are always on the same brain wave,” says Mayberry. “We have the same look in our eye. We have the same focus, the same drive.
Bond was known for some pretty incredible work during his career like sniffing for drugs and giving bad guys a hard time. He's a jack of all trades, but at home he's just one of the pack.
"He's just one of the family,” says Mayberry. “Like a normal dog."
This normal dog is traveling across the country to accept an award that to Mayberry means a lifetime of hard work that came down to one day in May.
“This means a lifetime of achievement,” says Mayberry. “He worked his entire life and he trained his entire life and it finally came in handy."
Bond and Mayberry need help raising funds to get to Pennsylvania in order to accept the award.
For more information on how to send donations you can send an email here.